A’s starter Dallas Braden pitched six innings on Sunday, five of them with a contusion and deep bone bruise on his left hand. Braden was struck by a comebacker from Jays outfielder Vernon Wells in the first inning that ricocheted off his hand and the right side of his neck, which led to some trouble breathing.
Braden was taken to a local hospital for X-rays, which were negative, but was wearing a splint about an hour after the game. A doctor told him to take it easy for the next few days, but Braden, despite the swelling, was “absolutely” positive that he would make his next scheduled start on Friday in Detroit.
Jays rookie Brett Cecil allowed just five hits and had six strikeouts as the A’s dropped to 3-11 against left-handed starters this season. Coming into Sunday, the A’s were batting an AL-worst .207 against left-handed pitching. Oakland had five left-handed batters in the lineup on Sunday.
Fortunately for the A’s, the Royals plan to start right-handers Sidney Ponson on and Brian Bannister on Wednesday. Oakland has a 8-7 record against right-handed starters this year and is batting a more respectable .259 against all righties.
A’s infielder Nomar Garciaparra (strained right calf) did some hitting in the batting cage before Sunday’s game but said after the game that he still didn’t know if he’d be able to play on Friday when he comes off the disabled list.